Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Family that Matches Together, Stays Together

 

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None of my friends would ever believe me if I said that this matching thing wasn’t 100% planned, but it really wasn’t.  I had planned on having the girls match, because that is my life goal, to have them match as much as they can because…SISTERS (until Victoria doesn’t think it is cool anymore), but as I was dressing them I was thinking about how Greg has a golf shirt that matches their dresses perfectly.  I couldn’t for the life of me remember what he left the house looking like, and knew it was a long shot that he would actually have the shirt on.  And I knew it would seem a bit crazy to make him change into a different shirt when we arrived (even though I am sure he would have been a good sport and done it), but I did consider it. So I texted him and sure enough, he was wearing  The Shirt!  So random!  It was a sign, a sign that we had to be that family at the picnic. Ha!  I couldn’t be left out, so I dug through my closet and found a shirt I had not worn since having Amelia and crossed my fingers that it still fit.  It did, but not in the same way when I initially bought it, but nothing really does…right?

I loaded up the girls and headed to the picnic.  We immediately were noticed in our matching outfits (and probably made fun of too, ha).  I had Greg’s boss take some pictures when we got there because it doesn’t take long before Victoria trashes whatever she has on.  The cuter the outfit, the dirtier it gets, I swear!

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My favorite picture of the night…

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Victoria played her heart out at the picnic!  There were lots of kids, mostly boys older than her, but that it not slow her down, the girl plays hard. We were one of the last families to leave the party, and when it was time to go a certain three year old was not very happy, at all.  The weather was perfect, the food was delicious and it was great to see Greg’s co workers and families (when they weren’t asking us if we were going to try for a boy, I really hate that question!).

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I absolutely adore our little family!  They are my whole heart.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Small Taste of Disney

Frozen.

Such a simple word, that has created such a craze across America.  Actually, I think it has taken over America.  We have the movie, Victoria has seen it several times, and I will hand it to Disney, it came out right around the time Victoria became a Big Sister, so the sister story line is one of my favorites. (Nothing beats Beauty & The Beast, it will always be my favorite until the end of time) 

Victoria likes Frozen, and she knows the characters and some of the songs, she has two shirts and an Elsa doll, but she has never really gotten into the craze, which has probably saved me a lot of money.  Ha.  So when my friend Steph told us about a local event where you could meet Anna & Elsa, I decided to call and sign Victoria up, to see exactly how much she was into the Frozen craze.  The guy on the phone made it seem like there was no limit, told us Anna wouldn’t be there, and wrote down Victoria’s name, and then didn’t really think much more about it.  I debated the week of whether we would go or not because it was on the other side of the city (traveling to the South!), but when I received a confirmation call stating that there was a long waiting list, I decided we had to go, we could not waste our spot and there was a Home Goods store near by so, Win-Win.

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I decided it would be a fun mother/daughter date and told Greg to stay home with Amelia.  I didn’t tell here where we were going, until we got in the car.  I told her we were going to see Anna and Elsa and she immediately exclaimed, “WE ARE GOING TO DISNEY?!” Poor kid.  I explained that we weren’t but she was pretty sure we were. 

When we arrived, we had to wait in line to register ($8), keeping a three yr old in line with your for anything longer than 10 minutes is almost impossible, well, at least for us.  This would be the first of 3 lines we would be in for the event.

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After registration, we were told when we could line up to see the Princesses, and headed over to the craft area. I paid $8, she was making all the crafts…or maybe not.  We waited in a looong line to make a snowflake crown, mainly because nothing was pre cut or prepared in advanced so it make everything take longer.  A teacher’s worst nightmare. For Real.  Victoria did a variety of things to keep herself entertained, including; running in circles, working on her forward roll, climbing a light post, coloring with bingo dobbers (actually coloring herself more than the paper), and picking up chewed gum from a sewer grate. FUN! 

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It was almost our time to get in the princess line.  So we ran into Panera for a quick potty stop (I cannot imagine getting all the way to the front and her having to go potty, gaaaah) and a frozen lemonade, because that will keep her busy in line. 

We actually got in line way before we were supposed to, but I would rather be in the princess line than another craft line.  I also packed drinks, snacks and candy (sometimes I think ahead).  We waited in line, in the hot sun, for about 25 minutes, which is about 15 minutes too long for V.  As we approached the front, she was ready to lose it, and I was desperate, so I told her she could pick out a special prize in the store (princesses were in a toy store).  Bribery, I love you.  She started to get a little shy when her turn was next, but I was like ooooh, nooooo…. you are getting a picture with these princesses. I reminded her of her prize and up she went. I took my pictures and we were done in a flash, literally. I tried to leave, but she remembered that special prize, of course.  We will have to master this line waiting thing because bribery at Disney would get crazy expensive.

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She initially picked one of those aliens that you squeeze and the eyes pop out.  We are in a store stocked with Frozen stuff and all kinds of toys and that is what she wants, go figure.  We get in line and at the register, there they are staring her in the face, saying “buy me!”

Frogs.

Real, live tiny frogs. The proper name, Dwarf frogs.  They are in a square container no bigger than a beta fish bowl, also known as their ecosystem. She was obsessed with them.  I am not sure why these little creatures where within arms reach of a toddler, but they were and I was a little scared for their lives.  As we waited I asked several questions about the frogs…What is their life expectancy? 1-3 yrs. What do you feed them? we supply a year’s worth of food, only feeding them 2x a week. How often do you have to clean the water? 1 time every 3 months. How much are they? $20

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Before I knew it Victoria was putting her eye bulging alien back and begging for her own little four legged pet.  Who knew there would be live animals in the toy store?!?!  So, I bought the frogs and we went from a pet-free family to having a pet in a matter of minutes.

So we went to see the Frozen princesses and came home with a Princess and the Frogs.  I never made it to Home Goods, which probably saved me more money than the $20 frogs.  And learned that there will not be a need to wait 4+ hours at Disney to see Anna & Elsa or waste a Fast Pass option on the meet & greet.  So while we weren't at Disney, it kinda felt like we were, lines and heat to see characters, ooh the fun!  (and frogs too!)

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Amelia 6 Months


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Last week our sweet girl celebrated her half birthday, 6 months!!  The summer is more than halfway over, my maternity leave is halfway over, and now our sweet girl is halfway to the big ONE.  This month was a big one for milestones.
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Stats: We are not sure of her weight and length, she does not have her 6m appointment scheduled until next week, but I would guess is at least 17.5 pounds.  She still only has two bottom teeth and I don’t think anymore are on their way at the moment.  She is wearing size 3 diapers and is wearing a combination of 6m & 9m clothing.    The biggest miles stone…not only is she completely sitting up on her own, but a 2 weeks before she turned 6 months she started to show signs of moving….gaaaah.  And now she has the army crawl mastered and has been working on climbing up on all fours. We continued to keep her off the reflux medication and she has done well, so glad that is behind us now.
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Feeding: She is eating 2 meals of baby food a day, so far liking everything she has been given.  She also started soft foods in her Kidsme Food Feeder (which I LOVE).  She has also transitioned very well to formula, she had her last taste of breast milk last week.  I still cannot believe I pumped enough milk for a 2+ month supply of food.  Do you get Similac coupons? Send them our way! She was introduced to a sippy cup this month too.  She is still trying to figure that out, but every once in awhile she will get it.  She has also had a taste of those over priced freeze dried yogurt bites and puffs.  She had her first bite of cotton candy at the ballpark too.
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Favorites: She loves her jumparoo, but is sure to let us know when she has had enough.  The jumparoo is an amazing thing, I can get so much done around the house in a short period of time.  She also is starting to like her walker more now that her little piggies can just about touch, she has started to scoot herself around.  We are using the activity table without the legs, so it lays flat on the floor, and she is loving this new toy.  She is also fascinated with the ball popper I found at the spring JBF consignment sale!  She has also munched on a few magazines we have had laying around, I remember Victoria’s obsession with all things paper around this age too.  She continues to love swings, both on our swing set and at the park, we always get the biggest smiles when she is swinging away.
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Sisterhood:  Victoria is 100% the reason that this little girl is already on the move!  Amelia adores her sister so much. She always wants to be near her, which means if she is across the room, she is determined to get close to her.  Victoria has increased the amount of time she spends with Amelia, now that she is more interactive.  Victoria loves to make her laugh, it is the sweetest.
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Social:  We have had a lot of fun in June!  She attended so many playdates (none of which I have blogged about yet) to the park, spray parks, and hosted two ice cream events.   She has been imitating us a lot these days, my favorite is when she says “Ma, Ma, Ma” back to me, I am telling Greg that is her first word…ha.  She still does not have the stranger danger instinct, so she will go to just about anyone without tears.
Events: She also took her first trip to the beach, which included her 1st swim in the pool, loving it all!!  Since her first swim, she has been in the pool several times, even in the kiddie pool that was just filled with freezing cold water, no problem for this little girl. She attended a very late night at PNC Park, to watch sleep through her sister running the bases, she attended her first community day, and she celebrated her 1st 4th of July with great friends.
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Kohler Touchless #Notouchflush

Before we left for the beach, I was contacted by Kohler and asked if we were interested in trying out the new Touchless Flush.  We have been huge fans for Kohler for years.  We have moved into two houses over the past 6 years, and we have completed several home improvement projects using Kohler products.  Participating in this opportunity was a no brainer for us, quality products, a helpful way to prevent the spread of bacteria in our house, and raising a toddler prone to germs, we were all over it!

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Germs are unavoidable, they are everywhere, having a toddler in the house increases the germ factor about 200%.

We have a potty trained toddler (she has been for almost a year) in our house, but this doesn’t mean we have fewer germs, if anything, I think this means we have more germs lurking in our bathrooms simply because she is at the “I do by myself” stage of toddlerhood, will this phase ever go away?? I don’t think so, at least not until she is a teenager, right? Ha.

The Kohler Touchless Flush sounded like a great option to have and we were excited to try it out!

Installation:

It took my husband 20 minutes to install our touchless flush.  He said the directions were easy to follow and while it recommended the use of tools (wrench), he was able to do everything by hand.  The touchless flush was up and ready to go before we knew it, which was a good thing because our toddler was anxious to try it!

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Use:

I wasn’t sure how sensitive the sensor would be since it was going through ceramic, but it was impressed, it was very accurate.  Just a wave over the sensor button and the flushing starts. It is not like those sink sensors in public restrooms where you have to wave your hand several times, and in the right spot, to get it to work. It has flushed every time, upon the first wave, so easy, we allow our toddler to “do by herself” all the time.  She likes using it so much it is rare that she ever forgets to flush the toilet, which was a problem with a traditional flush and she is not touching anything! Because lets face it, a toddler’s hands are probably more dirty after using the bathroom than they were before.

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I love that the touchless flush gives our toddler the independence she wants while giving me the piece of mind that the germs are not flooding the bathroom and the rest of our house! Win-Win!

Thank you Kohler for providing simple and sensible precautions against the germy world we live in.

Toddler Approved! 

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Parent Approved!

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Kohler also provided us with another awesome product to try out, stay tuned…

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Red, White & Cute!

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We celebrated America’s Birthday last week with our little family and great friends! On Thursday, July 3rd, our township celebrates 4th of July, it is also considered their community day.  We have attended this event in the past, but this was the first year that Victoria really enjoyed the games and activities.  Greg came home from work early that day, and we headed over shortly after the festivities started, we wanted to avoid the crowds and we weren’t planning on attending the fireworks later that night.  Victoria is not a huge fan of fireworks, so we wanted to save the small love she had for them for the 4th.

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We started inside the community center where they had a variety of games to play for free.  She favorite was a bean bag game where you threw a bean bag in an attempt to knock over a wooden star.  Victoria decided that the best way to do this would be to throw all the bean bags at once.  The boy working the game said he had never seen that strategy before, but it was pretty smart considering she knocked over a few stars…ha.

Her absolute favorite were the inflatables, there were many to choose from and they were all FREE!  She went on them over, and over and over again.  We stopped for a quick bite to eat, Victoria tried funnel cake for the 1st time, played on the playground and then headed home.  It was a fun family night out.

 

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The next day we packed up and headed to my good teacher friend Tammy’s house.  We saw her and her kiddos at a Pirates game earlier this year and made plans to do something over the 4th.  We arrived late afternoon and her three kiddos kept Victoria entertained the entire time.

We had a cookout, Ed made the most delicious ribs, and Tammy made an awesome fruit/pudding/angel food cake dessert.  We had a red, white and blue photo shoot with the kids, they ran through the sprinkler (even though it was a chilly 4th), went to the park, went on a few walks, and we watched the Pirates game.  It was nice to relax and catch up with them, I wish they lived closer! 

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Before we knew it, it was getting dark and the kids were ready for fireworks.  We dressed everyone in red, white & blue glow sticks, and headed out, only walking to the end of their street.  We decided to watch the neighborhood firework shows, it was entertaining as I think they were trying to out do each other, it was fun watching two different fireworks shows at the same time.

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We came back to the house for s’mores in the oven (genius idea) before heading home.  Both girls were asleep in the car within minutes.  We always have so much fun with Tammy, Ed and the kiddos!

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